Interim boss has Gladiators side ‘firing on all cylinders’

Matlock Town football club academy. David Hoole reserve team head coach.
Matlock Town football club academy. David Hoole reserve team head coach.

Interim Matlock Town boss Dave Hoole says he is not surprised by both the five match unbeaten run and the football that the Gladiators are playing, after they fought back to beat form side Rushall Olympic 2-1 at the DCJ Group Arena on Tuesday night.

Matlock now have four successive wins under their belt, the Rushall win coming after the comfortable 3-0 success at Whitby Town last Saturday.

But given Rushall’s recent impressive run of eight wins in the previous nine outings, Tuesday night’s showing was the most impressive, the three points seeing the Gladiators rise to 16th spot with the opportunity to finish higher.

“It was a great performance but we’re getting them week in, week out at present,” said Hoole.

“Without wanting to sound too bold, we’ve been the better side in each game of the run because of our style of play. It’s nice to have the compliments and it’s good to watch but both the results and the performances haven’t surprised me.

“As I’ve said previously the lads have been fantastic, taking everything on board we’ve told them. Rushall are a strong and direct side but they can also play a bit.

“They’re organised and you can see just how they’ve climbed up the league. But we’re enjoying our football, we’re firing on all cylinders. You can see the camaraderie between the players in the squad and I emphasise squad because everyone’s battling for one another.”

Hoole cannot have done his chances of earning the job on a permanent basis any harm but Matlock are sensibly taking their time in deciding on the successor to former joint bosses Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins. There have been no further developments on the managerial front during the past week.

“Given the size and stature of the club it may be that an experienced manager comes in,” said Hoole.

“All I can do is take one game at a time, if I get the job then fantastic, if not I shall still be at the club. I’m loving every minute of it and it’s my honest opinion that most teams playing the way they do won’t win this league.

“We’ve four games left and it’s down to Shaun (Harrad) and myself to manage the squad. It’s a tough schedule with a lot of games in such a short space of time so against Stalybridge it’ll probably be a case of bringing in one or two of the reserve/academy lads now we’re definitely safe.

“We have a young but small squad anyway, people sometimes forget that but it’s time anyway to put some young legs in.”

The home meeting tonight with Stalybridge is Matlock’s second of four successive home games in a week with Workington and Ashton United to follow on Saturday and Tuesday night respectively to round off Town’s home campaign.

The season ends with a trip to Shaw Lane on Saturday week.

Hoole praised the rest of the management team who he believes have played integral parts in the unbeaten run.

He added: “I need to give a big shout-out to Shaun Harrad who’s been brilliant but also to Danny Cox and Adam Sollitt plus Adam Yates, but not forgetting also Mark Mullins for keeping the lads fit and healthy.

“The fans also have been fantastic both home and away and hopefully they’re enjoying the results bit also the football we’re playing.”